It’s wonderful that many of these books are leveled to support the progression of children’s independent reading abilities. As a child conquers the simple read, they can pick up a new book with more new words to learn, practice their sounding out skills (decoding), gain more confidence and skill, then progress to the next level of independent reading. Slowly these simple books are looked at less often. Your child’s curiosity and desire to improve will propel them to pick up more challenging books.
This is where we as parents can encourage and entice the developing reader to playfully look at the pictures with hard words and use the pictures to tell them the story in their head. Also, at bedtime, by choosing a book that has tougher vocabulary, you are able to pique your child’s interest in looking at a tougher book. It might be through a simple picture walk at first, as outlined in the previous blog, then by repeatedly choosing it on other nights digging deeper reading only a couple of sentences of a page. But the story rhymes, you ask? Yes, and it’s okay to read it the way you want. You can read random interesting sentences the first time, then the next time you pick up the book you can read it with the rhyme. The book will be reborn in a new form.
The complex reads on your shelf become those five-day ‘meaty’ reads that I mentioned are done in the classroom. The difference is that you are reading them not necessarily of five consecutive nights but sporadically over a period of time. These complex books are enjoyed over months and years.